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USearch FAQs

What is USearch?

USearch is a comprehensive search engine that provides credible, relevant results culled from the library’s online and print collections as well as content in the library’s databases in one search.

What’s included in USearch?

USearch includes hundreds of millions of items, including all books in the United Library catalog, the Northwestern University Libraries catalog, e-books and e-resources in the catalog, as well as scholarly articles and information contained in the libraries’ subscription databases and journals.

What’s not included in USearch?

Some content in some databases is not included in the contract with the search provider, though the company is working to provide more content all the time. At present, ATLA with Serials is not included, so we have a special tab on our search page for this popular database. Some content hosted by EBSCO and ProQuest does not appear in USearch; if you need more results, you should search those databases directly by using the Find Databases tab.

How do I use USearch?

USearch allows us to incorporate the indexes of many of our licensed electronic databases and journals. This means that when you search ‘Everything’ you will get results-down to the article level- from those resources as well as our local catalog.

Can I manage my library materials through USearch?

No, you cannot currently manage your library account with USearch, though we hope to have this option available to you by the beginning of the New Year. If you need to renew items or see what you have checked out currently, please refer to NUcat’s account page.

What databases and journals are available in USearch?

Alexander Street Press
SAGE Journals
Academic OneFile
Project Gutenberg
Oxford University Press Journals
Project Muse
Wiley Online Journals
JSTOR
HathiTrust Digital Library

What, of note, is not?

EBSCO databases, Including ATLA

What’s the deal with EBSCO?

EBSCO databases are not available directly through Primo Central. They have been working on metadata agreements with ExLibris for some time now. In 2009 they had one for a while that allowed indexing in Primo Central, but pull their permission in 2010/11. Currently EBSCO’s demands are not favorable, so they remain unincorporated into Primo Central. As of April 2014, EBSCO send out a new statement regarding metadata sharing. ExLibris has not agreed to it yet for various reasons, but the policy does not include metadata for over 25 full-text major subject databases and 21 A&I services, including CINAHL, ATLA, Historical Abstracts, EconLit and PsycINFO. This impacts our students because EBSCO provides us with access to ATLA, NEW & Old Testament Abstracts & PsycINFO among other important resources.

How will we be providing access to other EBSCO resources not currently indexed-ATLA?

You can still go directly to EBSCO’s interface and search through ATLA material there.
Ex Libris is working on an adaptor to seamlessly incorporate EBSCO index’s into our USearch to avoid this step.
There is actually a fair amount of overlapping in terms of resources indexed. Ex Libris created a document demonstrating this. For instance, if we have a bunch of other collection activated in Primo Central, then we’ll be able to access 90% of PsycINFO content, even though it’s a collection we would usually go to EBSCO for.